NASP Advocacy Toolkit A Framework for Safe and Successful Schools Becoming a Successful Advocate: How to Educate Principals about Safe and Successful Schools 1. Encourage principal to establish school leadership team. Such a team should include teachers, school employed mental health professionals, such as school psychologists, school counselors, school social workers, instructional/curriculum professionals, school resource/safety officers, and a staff member skilled in data collection and analysis. 2. Offer to be a resource for your principal. Discuss with your principal how schools that offer a safe and positive school climate not only improves school discipline, reduce incidences of bullying and other behavioral concerns, but also enhances academic achievement. 3. Work with principal to integrate mental health programs into school curriculum. Schools which implement an integrated approach that connects behavioral and mental health services and academic instruction and learning are most likely to be safe schools with positive school climates. Offer to provide your principal with research, data, etc., which demonstrate the effectiveness of this integrated approach. 4. Assist principal in reaching out to stakeholder groups. Work with principal to include not only parents and students as partners in developing policies and practices which create and maintain a safe school environments, but other community stakeholders, such as community mental health professionals, and representatives of law enforcement and faith based organizations, county crisis teams, and local hospitals and health clinics. 5. Work with your principal to develop an in-service training to all school staff. This training should include teachers, school counselors, school resources officers, and other school support staff. This training can focus on risk and resiliency factors, as well as how to develop and maintain school safety, and a positive school climate. Suggest inviting community stakeholders to attend this training, to facilitate their feeling part of the school community. 6. Offer to develop strategy to evaluate safe and successful school outcomes. Let your principal know that as a school psychologist, you have expertise in the area of data collection and program evaluation. Offer to develop an evaluation tool to measure school climate, school discipline, and school safety. This will allow for future improvement, as well as sustaining programs that are demonstrably successful.